Saint Barthelemy or St Barths as it is fondly called is a French Caribbean island that is a dependency of France.
As such, the official language of the island is French and the Euro is used for day to day financial transactions.
Nevertheless, US dollars are widely accepted on the island.
St Barths is only eight square miles and according to Worldometers.com, the population was 9,936 at the time of publication.
The pros of living in St Barths are the ease of island hopping, beautiful white sand beaches and its fine French restaurants. On the other hand, living in St Barths has its cons such as the threat of natural disasters, no direct international flights and lack of amenities.
Read on for comprehensive details of the pros and cons of living in the St Barths. This article was written by a Caribbean national.
Pros of Living In St Barths
Tax Free Location
One major advantage of living on the island is that residents do not pay income tax.
This is a significant factor to consider especially if you are considering moving to the island.
Furthermore, there is no annual property tax levied against owners.
Multi- Lingual Island
Both French and English are spoken on the island. Despite being a French overseas territory, English is widely spoken.
The island is extremely dependent on the tourism sector and attracts a number of wealthy and A-list celebrities such as the Kardashians to its shore.
This is a key reason why residents are multi-lingual.
Easy Access To Neighboring Islands
With an effective ferry system between St Barths and St Maarten, the location is great for island hopping.
From St Barths, a visitor has access to St Maarten, St Martin, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla all via ferry services.
This is truly a blessing and living on the island gives you an opportunity to explore and experience a variety of cultures at an affordable price.
Finest Restaurants In The Caribbean
The French culture is known for its exquisite food and fine dining experience and St Barths is no exception.
The island has a plethora of fine dining options perfect for individuals who love French cuisine.
Some venues to check out include Eddy’s Restaurant and Orega.
Saline beach is one of the most beautiful on the island. This beach features gorgeous white sand and turquoise waters. It proves users with a remote and unspoiled feel.
Another beach that is amazing on the island is Colombier beach which is part of a protected reserve on the island.
There are several other beautiful white sand beaches to enjoy n St Barths.
Cons of Living In St Barths
No Direct International Flights
Known for having one of the shortest runways in the world, the Gustaf III Airport in St Barths does not current provide service for direct and non-stop flights from major international cities.
Individuals from major international destinations usually fly via airlines such as Air France, American Airlines and Delta Airlines to St Maarten and then either take a smaller aircraft or ferry to St Barths.
Threat of Natural Disasters
Annually, the Caribbean is at risk of hurricane from June 1 until November 30 and the island of St Barths is no exception.
The last major hurricane to impact St Baths was Irma in 2017 which caused severe destruction and devastation to buildings and infrastructure.
Today, the island has recovered from the effects of the hurricane.
If you are planning on visiting the island during the hurricane season, it may be prudent to consider travel insurance to protect you against any losses that may result should a hurricane hit the island.
High Cost of Living
As a general rule, St Barths is much more expensive when compared to a number of Caribbean islands.
As an example, one dozen eggs and a beer in St Barths is USD$13.50 and USD$8.00 respectively.
The cost of these items in the Eastern Caribbean island of Grenada is USD$4.00 and USD$2.00.
In St Kitts & Nevis, a dozen eggs is USD$4.25 and USD$2 for a beer.
Therefore, if you are planning on relocating to the island, the price tag is a factor to consider.
Lack of Amenities
Being a small island, there are certain amenities that the island does not have.
There is no public bus transportation service in St Barths.
The best way to get around the island is therefore by taxi or renting a car.
Additionally, there is no Uber service and other ridesharing apps used.
Furthermore, there are no American fast food chains on the island such as KFC and Mc Donald.
Le Select is a popular spot for tourist to relax and grab drinks as well as food items such as burgers.
The pros of living in St Barths are that the island is a tax free jurisdiction and its beautiful white sand beaches. Alternatively, the cons of living in St Barths are there are no direct flights from international cities, the threat of natural disasters and the high cost of living.
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